Dr Roula Nezi

Senior Lecturer in Political Science
+44 (0)1483 686635
26 AP 01


University roles and responsibilities

  • Director of Postgraduate Research

    Previous roles

    Post-Doctoral Researcher
    University of Konstanz
    Senior Researcher
    GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences


    Research interests

    Research projects


    Postgraduate research supervision



    Zoe Lefkofridi, Roula Nezi (2019)Responsibility versus responsiveness…to Whom? A theory of party behavior, In: Party Politics Sage Publications

    Late Peter Mair argued that, in the contemporary multilevel institutional setting of global governance, parties are faced with a dilemma between Responsiveness and Responsibility (RR dilemma). However, Mair did not theorize variation in how different parties experience the RR dilemma (degrees of tension) and how they manage it (strategies). We develop his work in three ways: first, we advance variants of the RR dilemma, where the tension party leaders face differs, and elucidate how viable contenders for executive office are likely to behave in each of these scenarios, and why. Second, we highlight domestic institutional factors (electoral rules and leadership autonomy) that regulate the pressure for responsiveness to public opinion and to partisans. Third, we place the RR dilemma in the context of multidimensional issue competition, which helps identify strategies for managing it. Finally, we provide an empirical illustration of our arguments using data on public opinion and partisans. We show that although responsibility can be combined with (some) voters’ representation, tension is high when leaders are constrained and partisans oppose responsibility even if the public endorses it; also, under disproportional electoral rules when the public opposes responsibility, even if party supporters endorse it.

    Additional publications